Biryuch (Formerly Budyennoye) | Belgorod

Execution of Jews and non-Jews in Biryuch

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine near the cemetery
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
At least 30

Witness interview

Viktor K., born in 1926: "The Grabov family was denounced by a local policeman. The head of the family had been drafted into the army, but his wife and son stayed in Biryuch. For a while they managed to hide, but the policeman denounced them and they were arrested. They were taken to the Gestapo building where they stayed for a while. I don’t know exactly how long they stayed there, but I remember going there to see my friend Volodia Grabov. He was killed on July 14 or July 15, I don’t remember exactly." (Witness n°809R, interviewed in Biryuch, on August 11, 2018)

Soviet archives

"On July 10, 1942, at 12a.m., three armed Hungarian soldiers entered the apartment of 72-year-old Lev Davydovich Pritsker and his 75-year-old wife Tatiana Markovna Pritsker, living at 25 Pochtovaya Street, village of Budyonnoye, non-partisan, Jewish. They searched the house and arrested these innocent civilians. Nobody knows what happened to them afterwards. […]
On July 15, 1942, at 10a.m., during the German occupation, a car approached the house of Raisa Salomonovna Grabova, 38 years old, housewife, and her son Vladimir Borisovich Grabov, 15 years old, schoolboy, Jewish, living on Volia Street on the territory of the agricultural enterprise [Plodokombinat] in the village of Biriuchsk [...]. Three German officers armed with rifles got out of the car and entered Grabov’s apartment. After searching the house, they arrested without violence Raisa Salomonovna Grabov and her son, put them in the car, and took them to the school in the village of Budionny where the German headquarters was located. The car stopped, an officer opened the door, let the Gabovs out, and took them to the school building. The Grabovs spent two days there, washing the floor and doing other tasks. Then, they were taken in an unknown direction. Their fate remains unknown.

On July 15, 1942, three Hungarian soldiers entered the apartment of Mikhail Zakharovich Dvorkin, 70 years old, and his wife Sofia Borisovna Dvorkina, 70 years old, Jewish, living at 22 Sovetskaya Street, Budyonny village. They were arrested and taken away without violence in an unknown direction. Their fate remains unknown." [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on November 30, 1943; RG 22.002M: Fond 7021, opis 22, delo 501, pp. 304-307.]

Historical note

Biryuch is a Russian town located 145km (90mi) east of Belgorod. The settlement was founded in 1705 by the Cossacks and was granted town status in 1779. On January 27, 1919, it was renamed Budyonny. In 1958, it was renamed Krasnogvardeyskoye and demoted in status to a rural locality. On January 30, 2007, the town’s original name of Biryuch was restored. The village lay outside the Jewish Pale of Settlement, and until the late 19th century, Jews were forbidden to settle there. According to the 1897 census, 13,081 people lived in Biryuch. The percentage of Jews living in the town remained small. The majority of Jews were merchants, artisans, or employed in the liberal professions.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Biryuch was occupied by German and Hungarian forces in October 1941. After the occupation began, the remaining Jewish residents of the town were arrested by the Germans and Hungarians at their homes and taken in unknown directions. With the help of local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, we discovered that the victims were first detained in the Gestapo building for a couple of days and then were taken in the direction of the airfield where a big ravine was located. The Jews who lived in the nearby village of Zasosna were also taken to the ravine to be shot at the same time.

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